“It’s like the Mary Celeste in here,” I sigh, as I begin my second hour of waiting to find someone – anyone – to chat to on Airtime.
It had started pleasantly enough. I’d logged on to internet royalty’s answer to Chatroulette – the site on which Mark Zuckerberg used to hang out – to see how it was doing and what sort of people were spending time here a year and a half after its much-heralded launch.
My enthusiasm was to be short-lived. Because even were you to manage to find someone on Airtime to talk to, the things you’ll be looking at most often are server errors.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think anyone has updated this website for a very long time, and it doesn’t look like a product that’s being actively maintained.
Still, I thought I’d give it a go.
As you can see, it was quite early in the morning. But I figured that for such a well-funded site, so lauded by the tech press and with such amazing founders, pretty soon I’d be chatting to some interesting people from around the world.
Not so much. After half an hour, I was still waiting. And this is of course trying different browsers and different computers and with different accounts and settings and… well, I tried everything.
I removed all the filters so the site would connect me to any user, anywhere in the world, currently online.
I tried to record a video to post instead, thinking that perhaps the site’s social networking features would be more active. But I couldn’t save the video I’d recorded and after five tries, I just used Photo Booth and uploaded it to YouTube instead.
Egged on by colleagues, I decided to give Airtime’s Talk to Someone feature one last try. But it was pretty clear at this point that nothing was going to happen.
Launched just fifteen months ago by Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, the boys behind Napster (and with investors that include Ashton Kutcher and will.i.am), it looks like “real-time sharing and communications platform” Airtime is dead in the water.
I guess fame is no guarantee of success.